Archive for June 2013

The first time I heard "This Is Worth Fighting For" from the World War II era, I remembered a story from a motivational speaker at a seminar. It was about a man struggling to return from an attempt to reach the summit of Mount Everest, and which voice among many ultimately talked him off the mountain. He didn't respond to reminders about his duty and obligation. He didn't react to the fear of friends and family that he might die. If his response was an indication of what was most worth fighting for, it proved to be the simplest things, not unlike a log cabin in a little valley with rows of corn planted nearby. Sometimes, the most impressive thing a state legislator can do is stand up. I believe the most important decision we can make on questions of marriage rights is to support people who love each other and ignore people who hate. Like the mountain climber, we often need to set aside anger and fear, choosing instead to respond to love.

Different Drummer: Jamie Clarke

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Dear elected official considering "legislative solutions" to reduce the abortion rate ... well, not really the rate because there is no indication you have thought that through at all, being more focused on passing laws that make it look like you are "doing something" about abortion when you are missing the point entirely ... yeah, you:

We are on the wrong course in our interactions with courts, the legislative process, and specifically the women in our society. Lowering the abortion rate to astonishingly low levels is possible, and it starts (STARTS) with ending the expensive and wasteful process of trying to force people into making the choice most of us want them to make. Let's do this the way Jesus demonstrated. Listen to people, love them as they are, intervene personally and directly; not with laws that attempt to control them without listening to them or even knowing who they really are (much less loving them as much as so many conservative Christians "say" they love the unborn child ... an anonymous and cheap form of "love" at best).

There is a simple test that we should apply when someone in a debate talks about "low levels" of pregnancy due to rape and incest or life-threatening situations like we've heard about in the past year from Ireland and elsewhere. (Think it couldn't happen here? I think it could in a rural part of states like Oklahoma, Mississippi, or others). None of that even includes women living with other sorts of threats, like domestic violence or health situations that could lead to serious consequences like sterility or conditions that would shorten life ... but just not drastically enough to satisfy the kinds of legislation being proposed by so-called conservatives. No the test here is really easy: whenever you call a number of women small, then your job is to pull out pen and paper and write down (you, personally, not a bunch of pages or interns) the names and phone numbers of all the women you have met for the first time in the past year. You see, the same women aren't typically pregnant from rape in consecutive years. For some women -- thankfully -- it is only a once in a lifetime experience if at all. But if you think it is a small number, go ahead and set a timer for an hour or two, and write down all your new female associates. It's a small number, right?

Of course, if it is physically impossible for you to write that many names (thousands of women each year) in a short span of time, then it isn't a small number at all. We should have the intellectual integrity to challenge people who use language so inappropriately. On the other hand, you also may have -- despite being in a position of power -- simply avoided meeting that many of your constituents, choosing instead to remain in a very narrow field of influence for some arguably political reasons. That would be a lack of ethics and/or moral integrity ... if we are serious about the use of terms like "small number" to refer to such a large and important part of our society.

Jesus would speak with those women. With the woman at the well in John 4 as an example, he would empower her or them to be his advocate with others in the community, not only other women. He would never adopt a "there there little lady, I know what's best for you" philosophy and he certainly wouldn't legislate such an approach through the power of human government. People who do that are not following Jesus; they are opposing his example. Please, don't empower the anti-Christ forces that you are forced to brush elbows with, whether they identify themselves as some sort of Christian voting bloc or moral majority or not. The only real "moral majority" is Jesus. Try doing things his way for a change, or take this prompting to challenge peers who are and have been taking the Lord's name in vain on this issue (and numerous others).

Sincerely and admittedly,

Someone who loves Jesus more than power (I'm not alone here, my fellow Christians, and you are welcome to join us)

Gameplan for upcoming Inappropriate Conversations

  1. Some things are worth fighting for, on a personal level
  2. I was a punk before you were a punk (and I don't consider that band "punk")
  3. Using documentaries to keep score on sports history

One of the ways I know that I lean toward introversion is my experience at reunions. In journals and poetry, I describe those events with both a longing and regret over what I might call invisibility. "Disappear Here" is the name of the poem. No doubt, it was inspired by the "people are afraid to merge" theme in Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis. Some people are afraid to merge; at least, I know one.

I also answer the question: how do you know if you are a bigot?

Different Drummer: Ingmar Bergman

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Some poems, like this one, work better visually. "Tithe" can be read in multiple ways -- two of them, crucially. You can read it directly, or as a hymn.

Lyrics: @ic_greg

Melody: Traditional

Season: Pentecost

Jesus woke me up

I thanked him anyway,

He wished me well and

Sunday morning - much to my surprise.

Seeing that my sins

Confused me,

He told me that

Had been quite a burden.

Because He didn't want me

He died for my sins,

We talked about old times,

To build a church

In my shock, I did not

I guess for ten minutes

Or seek people who

Know what to say,

Or more,

Would donate their money.

Initially,

Subsequently,

Ultimately,

(Refrain)

This relaxed me and

Convinced me that the

Times really don't change.


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